Victim of I-74 school bus crash honored at Normal West basketball game
On Thursday, the town of Normal banded together following a tragic school bus accident on Wednesday night.
The Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Team was on their way home from a game, when a semi hit the bus head on.
A beloved volunteer, Charlie Crabtree was killed as a result.
The JV coach was badly injured, resulting in surgery.
“There is no playbook there, as a coach you try to be in charge all of the time, where they're suppose to be, what they’re suppose to do and a game plan for it and last night I had no game plan," said Corey Ostling, the girls varsity basketball coach for Normal West High School.
Despite the tragedy, the girls varsity basketball team decided to host their game on Friday.
However, it was a game unlike any others.
Hundreds filled the stands to honor the treasured volunteer.
“Charlie was here. Charlie’s who brought the fans in," said Ostling.
The game started with a moment of silence for Crabtree.
Both teams stood side by side, arm in arm.
At that moment, there were no rivals.
"Everybody loves him. They're going to, I know, honor him. He's in their thoughts for the rest of the season and beyond," said Chris Hawkins a baseball coach at Normal West.
Community members said the entire season will be about honoring the beloved volunteer, Crabtree, and the legacy he leaves in Normal.
The JV basketball coach is still in the hospital.
School officials said right now they aren't worried when the JV team will play ball again.
The most important part is making sure the coach and every player are okay.